How much do you charge on any given case?

Each case is different, and the complexity of a case can vary based upon the issues involved, level of animosity between the parties, and even opposing counsel. I am able to charge a fixed fee for uncontested matters and criminal cases because I generally know the amount of time and work that will be involved. Other matters are charged on an hourly rate. Personal Injury cases are typically on a contingency fee basis, which means, no payment is due the client unless/until a settlement or verdict in favor of the client is received.

Feel free to schedule a consultation for an estimate of the costs and expenses, which will be involved in your legal matter.

What are court costs?

Court costs are not included in the attorney’s fee. Court costs are fees which are paid to clerk of court, and are required for any and all civil legal filings. Court costs can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but most initial filing fees start out at $450. The more complex your case is the higher your court costs are likely to be. Since my office is obligated to pay these fees by virtue of enrollment in your matter, I require pre-payment of court costs prior to all filings (except in personal injury cases).

How can I reduce my legal fees?

Keep in mind that the actions of the opposing party and the court’s calendar are outside the realm of your control. Nevertheless, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce your costs in contested litigation:

  1. Be honest and upfront with your attorney from start to finish.
  2. Stay organized. Dumping paperwork on your attorney in a haphazard fashion or forwarding documentation in numerous e-mails, can lead to an overlap in work for the attorney and staff.
  3. Timely, oblige all requests of your attorney. If I ask a client for something, it is because I need it to move their case along. If I have to chase you for paperwork, then not only does that increase the length your case is pending, but also the amount of work I have to do.
  4. Stay in Communication with your attorney.  Again, if a client refuses or fails to communicate with me, then not only will your case be delayed, but it also increases the amount of time I have to put into a case to get back up to speed after long lapses.
  5. Do not bombard your attorney with questions. While, I encourage communication with a client, there is a point where a client inadvertently increases their legal fees by oversaturating the attorney’s office with communication. If you are calling on a daily basis, and sending multiple e-mails every day, then I will have to constantly shift back and forth to your case. Try to summarize your questions prior to making contact with your attorney, so that you can reduce the probability of an increased bill and disorganization.
  6. Listen to your attorney. There is a reason you hired your attorney. He/she is there to help you.

What can and cannot be expunged?

First, let me state that granting an expungement is based upon the presiding Judge’s discretion. Second, Louisiana expungement laws have been the subject of a massive legislative overhaul in the past few years. There are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement (Typically crimes of violence or sexual offenses). An eligible felony can only be expunged 10 years after the terms of the sentence have been completed. A misdemeanor can only be expunged 5 years after the terms of the sentence have been completed. Charges that have been either dismissed, the time for prosecution has expired, were sentenced under La. CCRP Art. 893 or 894, or those dismissed through diversion are eligible for immediate expungement. Please feel free to contact me if you believe you might be eligible, as I do eligibility checks free of charge.

What types of Family Law Matters do you handle

My office handles a wide range of Family Law matters, including but not limited to:

  1. Divorce
  2. Establishment of Custody
  3. Adoptions
  4. Community Property Partitions
  5. Temporary Restraining Orders
  6. Disavowal Actions
  7. Establishment of Child Support
  8. Grandparents Visitation
  9. Emancipation
  10. Prenuptial Agreements

How Does your office handle Traffic Citations?

My goal on a traffic citation is to save the client money in the long run. Often times, the biggest blow to a client’s wallet is not the fine or court costs, but the increase in insurance rates. For those that have a commercial driver’s license, it is extremely important to avoid moving violations as they can have an impact on the client’s ability to perform their job. While, my primary goal is to seek a dismissal if the stop was unjustified, where that does not appear likely, the second goal is to attain reduction to a non-moving violation.

Do you charge a consultation fee?

Yes, I charge a $150.00 consultation fee for Divorce & Custody Issues, Contested Successions and Civil Disputes. The $150.00 fee is a reduction on my hourly rate. Personal Injury and Criminal Defense clients are entitled to a free initial consultation.

My Legal Profiles

Christopher M. Stahl

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Divorce attorney in bossier city

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Please note that Family LawSuccessions and Civil Disputes all require a $200 consultation fee to be paid up front. Once you submit your request you will be prompted by email with instructions on how to pay your fee.

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